Du basketball sans dribles, sans courses avec le ballon, sans contacts, sans panneau derrière le filet. Évidemment, c’est un peu plus compliqué que ça, mais de l’aveu même d’Alexia Sergeant, qui le pratique depuis six ans, le netball est « vraiment simple à jouer ». Et, contrairement au baseball finlandais il y a deux semaines, facile à expliquer aussi…
Le netball est né en Angleterre, à quelques années du XXe siècle. Il est pratiqué essentiellement dans les pays du Commonwealth – il est même disputé lors de ses Jeux –, et surtout par les jeunes filles et les femmes.
Alexia, Montréalaise de 17 ans, aime tout du netball. Ce qui l’y a amenée ?
« Ma mère vient des Caraïbes [Saint-Vincent-et-les-Grenadines] And she was playing. When I got to Canada, I kept up and I was going to her tournaments, she says. Then later on, my mother-in-law was also playing, so this has always been a part of my life. One day, in a park, she trained with her team and became my coach. I’ve been playing with her since that time. ”
There is already a federation of some squads in Montreal and there is one, but netball is not very well known in Quebec. “We’re trying to expand the community,” says the young player.
The sport is best known in British Columbia, Alberta, and even Ontario.
Quebec also welcomed representatives from these provinces to the 2019 National Championships. It was scheduled to take place in Alberta last year, but … you know the rest.
The province also hosts occasional tournaments that draw teams from the United States and Western Canada to the Van Horn Avenue Sports Center.
New Zealand championship holders
In addition to the characteristics raised at the beginning of this text, it is important to emphasize that players cannot move everywhere on the field. They are limited to a specific space that is defined according to their position or role, as shown in this drawing taken from the FNAQ website.
Another important rule is that players have three seconds to pass or shoot. The latter can only be executed from within a semicircle around the opponent’s basket (refer to the rules briefly for more details).
In the global rankings, Australia is currently ahead of New Zealand, England, Jamaica and South Africa.
In the 2019 World Championships Final – held every four years – the home of Jacinda Ardern defeated her major Australian … 52-51! And that after beating the English 47-45 in the semi-finals.
Netball is so popular in all of these countries that it is often part of school physical education programs. It is also found on the Lesser Antilles.
The International Netball Federation includes more than 70 member states.
The main major leagues are found in England and Australia / New Zealand.
Thanks to Stéphane Rioux for the suggestion
Netball rules at a glance
– Seven players for each team.
The height of the basket is the same as that of a basketball i.e. 10 feet (3.05 m).
You cannot take more than one step with the ball in your hand.
Only the attacker and the shooter have the right to attempt to use the baskets.
On defense, we can block the shot, but we have to be three feet away from the owner of the ball. “If you’re not three feet away, you’re standing next to the person holding the ball and he can hit the ball without disturbing you,” Alexia Sergeant says.
– At the start of the match and after each goal, the ball is played by a pass from the middle.
Four periods of 15 minutes each.